Today I thought I would try my hand at training a unicorn. I was wondering if it was different than training a pony. It turns out it is not!
I haven't driven Zorro for about a month so as we get back into the swing of things I will ground drive him. He would be fine being hitched but I don't think it's fair to just drop him into work like that!
As we went up the road I was thinking about how I help him deal with scary things that pop up. For one:
The neighbor horses - These horses are so funny. It doesn't matter that we have been driving past them for the last nearly 4 years, they are always afraid of us. Some days they are less dramatic than others, but some days they snort and blow and spin and RACE away from us. This used to cause Zorro some concern as he thought they were running away from something dangerous and scary, therefor he should run too! Makes total sense. 4 or more horses spin and run as one, there must be something coming! It took him a little while to understand that it was HIM that was coming. LOL! When we first started walking past them I would let him stand and watch the horses blowing around. Then, when he wasn't so tense I would ask him to walk on. We worked up to walking by while the horses were blowing and running around. Now he barely pays attention to their silly shenanigans!
The Rock - This rock is so scary. It appeared this summer after the neighbors re-did their fence. Zorro saw it right away! And he notices it every time we walk by. So we just walk on by! He notices lots of the large rocks on our drives. For some reason he really doesn't like them and has to keep his eyes on them. That's fine, as long as he keeps walking!
The Transformer - This was a big deal for most of the year last year. He would stare so hard at it as we approached. I don't blame him as they make a low humming and if you are sensitive to the electricity then you can feel it if as you get closer. So I didn't ask him to approach it but just asked him to keep moving. If he had to trot by then we trotted by it. If he had to stop and look then we stopped and looked. Now he doesn't even look at it at all!
I always try to be sensitive to what my pony (or Unicorn!) needs. These needs can change, even on the same walk! What he could walk on past on the way out on our drive, he may need to stop and look at on the way home. What bothered him on the way out may not even warrant a look on the way home. I just stay flexible and go with the flow!